There And Back Again and There Again Yet Again - III:2

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Right now I should be painting. I’m taking an oil painting class this term – I may have mentioned it.

But one of the disadvantages of commuting to school is that nagging problem of not actually getting there – especially when mass transit is in the mix. I had missed my first bus by seconds, and with arthritic ankles and sore back, I’ve deemed running after the bus beneath me. The next bus was full up only to be followed by a bus planning to go only half the route then go home.

The connecting bus was no better – 3 scheduled busses never appeared. For the benefit of the MTA who should (but won’t) like to know which lines these are the s44 and s62. Both notorious for missing each other and everything else by a stones throw.

Now, only 20 minutes late for the class, I march from the front gate into the heart of the campus. For those who don’t know the layout you have to remember that the campus was once the infamous Willowbrook State School for Mental Defectives (read: insane asylum), and resembles a medieval fife – central structures surrounded by acres of fields and a 10 foot wall. Normally there’s a bus inside the campus to take people around, but it too was missing.

So after a brief bout of diarrhea (’tis true I say) at the first building I came too, I was now about 40 minutes late – which makes me absent no matter the circumstances – which means now I take a -1 letter grade – which I don’t care.

I’m taking the class for my benefit and my benefit alone. Plus, I seem to be the only one not liking my work, so I’ll still come out well. It’s not that I’m a perfectionist in this case and feel my work is inferior. I just don’t care much for impressionism. As the old-just coined-saying goes: “What do you get when you teach a Renaissance fan Impressionism? A punch in the face!”

And with this string of luck, something bad would probably happen anyway. My easel is the worst of the lot; my canvas shifts with every brush stoke. So you know today would be the day it all collapsed and cause the domino effect… sending the last easel of the row into the fire alarm, thus setting of the sprinklers and washing way the entire semester… as well as rotting the fur on the taxidermied animal models.

But really now, the whole attendance thing needs to be adjusted. Most schools these days fail you if you miss xClasses. Some teachers just deduct grades. I see it as this when you are over your cut limit – if you get a B (3.0) or better, your absences are cleared; if you get an A+ (4.0), you get your tuition back. Everyone else fails if they don’t show for class.

Remember, there are those who have perfect attendance and still pull in a 0.2GPA!

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Ryan Livingston

Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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